URBANA — Police have arrested a man Friday for allegedly flattening hundreds of car tires earlier this week in the western part of the city.
Lt. Dave Smysor said police arrested Dallas Bone, 36, on Friday evening as he was walking in the 500 block of South Vine Street, not far from the police station.
“We had already established probable cause at that time,” Smysor said. “He had been identified in surveillance videos by more than one person who was familiar with him, including some who were police officers.”
Scores of residents in West Urbana woke Monday to find tires on vehicles in their driveways and on the street punctured with what police believe was a drill.
An investigator is still compiling the numbers, but Smysor estimated it at 100 vehicles and put the dollar damage in the “tens of thousands.”
“I can’t even be sure we have had contact with all the owners. We were taking lifts from what we were seeing and observing. I don’t think all of them have reached out to us,” said Smysor, who urged citizens with unreported damage to call.
He also asked anyone with surveillance pictures to relay them to his department.
“We are not done looking at video,” he said. “The more video or still photos we can get, the better.”
Smysor said after Bone’ was identified, police had planned to watch his house to pick him up.
“Before we were able to do that, a patrol officer saw him walking down the street, got out, called out his name and made contact with him. No problems,” Smysor said.
Police had a search warrant for his home and served it, although Smysor declined to say what they found.
The lieutenant said his department has long been aware of Bone’s mental issues.
“We have had a history of dealing with him for the past few years. It was becoming more frequent in recent months,” said Smysor, who gave examples of Bone having difficulty getting along with neighbors.
Just last month, Smysor said, a postal employee in Bone’s neighborhood reported that Bone had confronted him under the erroneous belief that the postal worker was throwing animal feces at his house.
“He got up in his face and stepped on his toes,” Smysor said. “The employee walked away and Dallas followed him, pulling on his keychain.”
A report about that incident, along with the reports of the vehicle damage in the West Urbana neighborhoods, were forwarded to the state’s attorney’s office for review this weekend.
Bone is likely to be formally charged Monday.
Anyone with further information, photographs, or video recordings is encouraged to call Urbana Police at 217-384-2320. Detectives will meet with witnesses privately.